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Top Story:  Community Bankers Meet Comptroller at Roundtable


By Joy Burr
Banking Relations

On October 10, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry took part in a “Meet the Comptroller Roundtable” (MTC) in Chicago, where he and 18 community bank and thrift CEOs from the Central District came together for a day of frank discussion on matters of mutual interest.

Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize/Community Bank Supervision Jennifer Kelly and District Deputy Comptroller Bert Otto joined the Comptroller for the fifth event in this invitation-only series. While MTCs are not organized around a formal agenda, the dialogue results in a fast-paced, productive day with a vigorous exchange of ideas. The topics discussed during the roundtables include issues related to supervision, the economy, industry trends, and competition.

Comptroller Curry speaks with Annette Russell (left) and other participants of the October Meet the Comptroller event in Chicago.

“These roundtables are an enormously useful communication tool that help me stay current on a grassroots, real-time basis,” says Comptroller Curry. “They provide me an opportunity to remain connected with the core priorities, concerns, and expectations of community bankers across the country, and the two-way process lets bankers come away with a better appreciation of OCC policies and approaches to matters that affect them.”

The Banking Relations Division within Public Affairs works with each district to organize these programs, holding one in each of OCC’s four districts annually. The events contribute to the agency’s external communications strategic initiative by highlighting the OCC as the premier regulator of community-based institutions. Selected participants bring together a representative sample of institutions from the district and reflect a geographic mix as well as a mix of sizes, businesses, rural and urban markets, longevity, and charters. The Western District MTC, for example, held in Denver in August, included 19 institutions from 10 states including 11 national banks, two of which were Minority Depository Institutions. There were also eight thrifts, two of which were mutual institutions. Asset size ranged from $40 million to $2 billion. Participating bankers also bring an equally diverse mix of backgrounds and experience that often includes industry leadership experience with various state and national education or trade organizations.

“Clearly this is not the only outreach model that brings the Comptroller together with community national banks and federally chartered thrifts, but it is one of the most effective,” says Greg Golembe, Director of Banking Relations. “In part that is because the conversation is entirely off the record, and the open format allows participants to react to each other and drill down into issues of specific concern.”

“The roundtables promote valuable, on-going communication at the district level which is key during these time of improving conditions,” adds Otto.

The next MTC is scheduled to take place in the Southern District in December.

Last Updated: 10/21/2014